The United States began pulling troops from northeast Syria on Monday in a major policy shift, opening the way for a Turkish attack on Kurdish-led forces long allied to Washington and handing Turkey responsibility for thousands of jihadi captives.
The move was denounced as a “stab in the back” by the Kurdish-led forces who have been Washington’s most capable partner in fighting Islamic State in Syria.
The forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), accused Washington of reneging on an ally, warning it would have a “great negative” impact on the war against the militants.
In a sign of deepening humanitarian concern, a U.N. official reacted to the move by saying civilians must be spared in any Turkish operation in the northeast, adding the United Nations hoped that displacement and atrocities can be prevented.
“We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,” Panos Moumtzis, U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, told reporters in Geneva. – READ MORE